YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A suspect in the murder of his brother will have a competency evaluation.
Magistrate Meghan Brundege approved the request by the attorney for Larry Tarver, 49, who was to have a preliminary hearing Friday on a charge of murder for the death of his brother, Telly Smith, 45.
Smith was found shot to death about 1 p.m. Sept. 24 at his Hughes Street home on the south side by officers who were asked to check on him because family members hadn’t heard from him for a couple of days. Police believe he had been dead for several days before he was found.
Tarver was taken into custody Sept. 29 and arraigned Oct. 1, where a bond of $1 million was set. He has remained in the jail since his arraignment.
Tarver’s attorney, J.P. Laczko, asked the magistrate for the evaluation, saying that after talking to his client as well as hearing about his client’s mental health history from his family, he does not believe he not only could decide whether he should hold his preliminary hearing but if he can aid in his own defense.
Tarver was to have a preliminary hearing Friday to determine if his case should be bound over to a grand jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, but that hearing is stayed pending the outcome of the evaluation.
Laczko made his request via oral motion and is expected to file a written request by Tuesday.
If an evaluation deems Tarver incompetent to stand trial, he will be housed in a treatment facility and given treatment until or if he can aid in his own defense.
If that happens, the case will resume and a preliminary hearing will be held.